MOSCOW, October 26 (Itar-Tass) — The joint Russian-Belarussian exercise West-2013 will be held in Belarus in 2013, Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Sedyukov said after a meeting of senior officials of both countries’ defense ministries on Wednesday.
According to Serdyukov, “Next year we will get down to preparations for the joint exercise West-2013. We have instructed our chiefs of general staffs on this account.”
He recalled that this year marked 15 years of the Union State treaty. “We have always paid special attention to the development of military cooperation, the improvement of the regional group of Belarussian and Russian troops, and to the creation of integrated regional military systems.” He believes that, “modern challenges and threats may be minimized and neutralized and security of our countries may be maintained only by joint efforts.”
Speaking about the just-ended session of Russian and Belarussian defense ministry officials Serdyukov said its participants “discussed a wide variety of issues of bilateral military and military-technical cooperation, set urgent tasks and discussed progress in the fulfillment of the plan for joint actions to maintian the military security of the Union State till 2012.”
“We have analyzed the results of the exercise Union’s Shield-2011,” the Russian defense minister said. According to Serdyukov, “It was a second exercise of such a scale. It proved the readiness of Russian and Belarussian armed forces to counteract aggression.”
“The session demonstrated that Belarus remains Russia’s reliable military ally,” Serdyukv said. “We value the current level of our defense ministries’ relations and Belarus’ contribution to the development of the military component of the Union State and the Collective Security Treaty Organisation. We will continue military integration on the principles of equality of rights and mutual benefit.”
According to Belarussian Defense Minister Yuri Zhadobin, the session once again underscored the high level of interaction between the two defense ministries. As for the exercise Union’s Shield-2011, he said, “It confirmed the capability of the regional group of troops of the Union State to cope with any task in any situation.”